Fewer Georgians Get Insurance Through Jobs
(AJC) — The share of Georgians who got health insurance through an employer dropped sharply between 1999 and 2009, as rising costs prompted fewer small companies to offer coverage and the recession forced some workers out of jobs with benefits, a new study found. Among Georgians under 65, 59.8 percent had employee health plans during 2008 and 2009, down from 69.3 percent during 1999 and 2000, according to the study released Tuesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The change was also fueled by a decline in the share of Georgia employees willing to pay rising premium and out-of-pocket costs for employer-based coverage. The shift away from employer plans pushed slightly more Georgians to buy their own insurance or resort to government coverage such as Medicaid, the tax-funded program for low-income families. But the biggest jump was in the share of non-elderly Georgians without insurance, which climbed from 14.4 percent to 20.4 percent over the decade — one of the steepest state increases and three points higher than the national average.